Expectations that Dontari Poe would step right into the starting lineup at nose tackle after the Chiefs made him the 11th overall pick are looking overly optimistic right now.
Poe hasn’t been taking starter’s reps in camp, replacing Anthony Toribio only when the Chiefs are working on passing situations and he’s got some work to do if he’s going to change that before the start of the season. Coach Romeo Crennel outlined the things Poe needs to improve before he will earn more playing time.
“A lot,” Crennel said, via Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star. “He needs to work on technique, he needs to work on understanding the system, he needs to get the calls correct all the time. He’s got a ways to go.”
Poe admitted to difficulty adjusting to the NFL game, saying that nothing about it is the same as in college. He also said he feels that he’s getting a better handle on things, so it’s still premature to write him out of a competition with a player who was on the practice squad last year.
In the end, the most important thing is that the Chiefs drafted Poe because they knew they needed more in the middle of their defensive line. He’ll get a chance at a bigger role as soon as he proves he deserves it. The sooner that moment comes the better for the K.C. defense.